3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Another strong outing from Big Finish,
This review is from: Primeval (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
"Nyssa will die at dawn, and the Doctor doesn't even know why.
"To save her life, he must make a desparate journey to the only place in the universe where a cure might exist.
"When even that fails, the Doctor has a choice - let Nyssa die, or make a deal with the devil.
"After all, the road to hell is paved with good intentions..."
Lance Parkin's "Primeval" returns to Traken, Nyssa's home, although some 3000 years prior to its destruction in "The Keeper of Traken". I don't think it's essential to be particularly familiar with "Keeper" to enjoy "Primeval", but it would probably be helpful.
One of the most noticeable things about "Primeval" is that it cuts straight to the chase - the story begins with the Doctor pounding down the door of a healer on Traken, an unconscious Nyssa in his arms. She is suffering from some kind of mental episode. Yes, this is the story that deals with the psychic abilities that Nyssa has been harbouring for some time, and ultimately dispenses with them.
Along the way, we meet a range of decently played supporting characters, including Traken's beureaucratic and somewhat vacuous consuls; Susan Penhaligon's likeable healer Shayla and her assistant Sabian, played by Ian Hallard; and an old school Who villain in Stephen Greif's Kwundaar (complete with evil snigger), along with his band of devout but militaristic followers (no particularly famous guest stars this time, but at no harm to the story). Perversely, the evil Kwundaar is the only one who can save Nyssa's life, and manoeuvres Peter Davison's increasingly desparate Doctor into acting as his unwitting agent. Overall Kwundaar's manipulation of the Doctor, and the subsequent revelation of his motivations, is well done.
"Primeval", as well as being an entertaining adventure, also offers a not-too-unsubtle commentary on elitism and social exclusion. The story has good post production and effective musical motifs. The only disappointment is that Nyssa, despite the pivotal role that she plays, is occasionally marginalised.